Advances in consolidated bioprocessing systems for bioethanol and butanol production from biomass: a comprehensive review

Document Type : Review Paper


1 Microbial Biotechnology and Biosafety Dept., Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), P.O. Box 31525-1897, Karaj, Iran.

2 Swedish Centre for Resource Recovery, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden.


Recently, lignocellulosic biomass as the most abundant renewable resource has been widely considered for bioalcohols production. However, the complex structure of lignocelluloses requires a multi-step process which is costly and time consuming. Although, several bioprocessing approaches have been developed for pretreatment, saccharification and fermentation, bioalcohols production from lignocelluloses is still limited because of the economic infeasibility of these technologies. This cost constraint could be overcome by designing and constructing robust cellulolytic and bioalcohols producing microbes and by using them in a consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) system. This paper comprehensively reviews potentials, recent advances and challenges faced in CBP systems for efficient bioalcohols (ethanol and butanol) production from lignocellulosic and starchy biomass. The CBP strategies include using native single strains with cellulytic and alcohol production activities, microbial co-cultures containing both cellulytic and ethanologenic microorganisms, and genetic engineering of cellulytic microorganisms to be alcohol-producing or alcohol producing microorganisms to be cellulytic. Moreover, high-throughput techniques, such as metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, next generation sequencing and synthetic biology developed to explore novel microorganisms and powerful enzymes with high activity, thermostability and pH stability are also discussed. Currently, the CBP technology is in its infant stage, and ideal microorganisms and/or conditions at industrial scale are yet to be introduced. So, it is essential to bring into attention all barriers faced and take advantage of all the experiences gained to achieve a high-yield and low-cost CBP process.

Graphical Abstract

Advances in consolidated bioprocessing systems for bioethanol and butanol production from biomass: a comprehensive review


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